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426                                     PROCYONIDAE                                    CHAP.
cross stripes (save rings on the tail), which are so common a
feature of the coloration of the Cat-like forms.
In "bracketing together the three families which are described
in the following pages, emphasis is laid upon a number of un-
doubtedly common features'. Palaeontology seems, however, to
suggest that the Mustelidae come nearer to the Viverridae. That
the Bears and Dogs are connected by extinct annectent genera
does not interfere witli their present distinctness.
The systematic arrangement of these Carnivora is not easy.
It may be useful, however, to give a method of arrangement for
the convenient placing of the genera.
The most primitive group is perhaps that of the true Bears,
family Ursidae ; for in them the molars are two above and
three below, and have thus not become diminished in number
as in some of the other members of the order. Moreover, the
Bears have lobate kidneys, which character, often occurring in
the young of animals which when adult have smooth kidneys,
may be looked upon as a primitive character. The feet further-
more are completely plantigrade. This family will contain only
three genera, £7rs«s, Melursus, and ^Aeluropus.
Next comes the family Procyonidae, in several members of
which one molar is lost below, though in others the more
archaic formula is retained. The kidneys are simple. This
family contains the American genera JProcyon, JVasua, J3assariscus,
Bcbssaricyon, Cercoleptes, and the Old-World form ^Lelurus.
The third family, Mustelidae, has the molar formula reduced to
-J- or ^-. The kidneys are simple except in the Otters. To this
family are assigned the following  genera:----A.rcton.yx, Conepatus,
Meles, Mephitis, Taocidea, Mydaus, Melli'oora,, Jfelictis, Ictonym,
Mustela, Gcdictis, Grisonia, Putorius> GuLo> and the aquatic Lutra,
JEnhydris, and ^Aonyoc.
Fax®, 6.   Procyonidae.---This family is  mainly American  in
range, the genus ^delurus alone being a native of the Old World.
But Zittel would include with the genera of this family the
Viverrine and Oriental genus ^Arctictis, a proceeding which is
perhaps hardly admissible, though the occasional absence of a
caecum, in that animal is so far in favour of such an alliance.
The largely vegetable nature of its food and its arboreal habits
cause a certain amount of likeness to some of the members of
tfoe present group of Carnivores. The Procyonidae have two